Before you actually travel to Paris, you may have been there.
You might have imagined, as I did, quays wrapped in light evening fog or gritty neighborhoods of cheap shops and trinket stores. You might have yearned to see Paris come alive in the morning with delivery trucks blocking narrow streets and outdoor vendors already hawking their edibles in street markets.
I did. I imagined all this, based on photos and stories and books. And then I experienced it all first hand.
I was never disappointed. Paris fails to disappoint, time after time.
Much of my early vision of Paris was fashioned by magazine ads for such perfumes as "L'Air du Temps" and "L'Heure Bleu," which inevitably featured pale photographs of the Seine and Notre Dame or Pont Neuf. My teen-aged imagination took flight, and a vision of Paris was formed.
It was palpable. I could smell it and taste it, too.
Eventually, I saw it for myself. And I photographed it.
I love the photo above for the way it captures the watercolor quality of the light over Ile St. Louis and Ile de la Cité at 6 p.m. Our feet were aching, and we stopped to rest on precarious seats above Quay d'Orleans.
It is an ordinary picture of an ordinary moment. And yet because it met my expectations, I wanted to savor it.
And so I did.
Those of you who post here know exactly what I mean. You've experienced this too, if not in Paris, then somewhere else.
Where and when did you have your "Yes, this is it" moment?